Sunday 19 June 2016

Sunday WW1 Remembered...

I take great pleasure in including a feature about a rather special booklet of poems which came to my attention thanks to the lovely Ana, who, knowing of my interest in WW1 poetry, sent this anthology of war poems.

Candlestick Press
16 June 2016


The poetry of WW1 has been a constant reminder of this conflict which started over 100 years ago and yet, we must not forget that conflict still exists all around the world and that even today poetry continues to give a voice and raises our awareness that suffering, horror and loss is a daily battle and not just confined to the pages of history.

Candlestick Press have produced this anthology of ten poems in a beautifully presented pamphlet which can be sent through the post, in lieu of a greetings card, or simply just because it looks so wonderful and says so much  - it even comes with its own book-mark and envelope.

With a written introduction by Andrew Motion, here are the poems he has selected :

From Memorial ~ Alice Oswald

The Fly ~ Miroslav Holub ( 1923-1998)

The Artillery Man's Vision ~ Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

The Send-Off ~ Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

Lament of the Frontier Guard ~ Li Bai (705-762) Translated from the Chinese by Ezra Pound

That Shit Shute ~ Anonymous

Vergissmeinnicht ~ Keith Douglas (1920-1944)

I Remember ~Stevie Smith (1902-1971)

Facing It ~ Yusef Komunyakaa 

The Gardener ~ Andrew Motion  In  Memory of Lieutenant Mark Evison

It's really difficult top pick a favourite poem, as all ten really pack a punch and express so forcibly the full impact of war. They are not confined to an particular era and, indeed range from ancient history to the present day, however, I have a special fondness for the WW1 poetry of Wilfred Owen and The Send-Off with it's poignant reminder that the soldiers of the Great War, initially, went to the conflict with a song in their hearts,

"..Down the close, darkening lanes they sang their way
To the siding-shed..."

but whose silent return reminds us, realistically, that so few of these young men ever made it home.

"A few, a few, too few for drums and yells
May creep back, silent, to still village wells..."

Candlestick Press is a small, independent press publishing sumptuously produced poetry pamphlets that serve as a wonderful alternative to a greetings card, with matching envelopes and bookmarks left blank for your message. Their subjects include Cricket, London, Lesbian and Gay, Revenge, Babies and Fathers. Candlestick Press pamphlets are stocked by chain and independent bookshops, galleries and garden centres nationwide and available to order online.

There's even one for Jaffa , all about Cats !!

For more information and to see the other poetry pamphlets available, please go to the publishers Website for more details.

Find Candlestick Press on Twitter @PoetryCandle

I really love this idea of presenting poetry in an easily accessible format so that people can share a love of verse with family and friends and what could be nicer than to receive something so beautiful in the post.

My thanks to Ana at Sarah Harrison pr for sending to me this copy of Ten War Poems to review, and of course, to Candlestick Press for their commitment to making poetry easily accessible for all.


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